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The Health Benefits of Swimming

Are you curious about the health benefits of swimming?

As you may be aware, swimming has the reputation of being one of the best sports to maintain a healthy body.

This article will explain why this is the case and cover the main benefits one can enjoy by committing to a regular swim schedule.

Healthy senior woman in a swimming pool and full of energy
Swimming has a lot of health benefits, and for people of all ages

Whole Body Workout

The first benefit of swimming is that it is a whole body workout.

Indeed, swimming requires that you engage all of your limbs. As a consequence, all the muscles in your body are mobilized during a typical swim workout.

This effect can even be compounded by varying the swimming strokes used during a workout because each swim stroke lets you move your limbs in a different way.

And because swimming mobilizes your limbs across a wide range of movements, it promotes joint flexibility.

Cardiovascular Exercise

The health benefits of swimming don’t stop there. Swimming is an endurance sport, and as such an excellent cardiovascular exercise.

Swimming reduces your blood pressure, strengthens your heart and improves your aerobic capacity.

Low-Impact Exercise

When you swim, your body is supported by the water. The water has a much higher density than air, and this limits the speed at which you can move in the water.

These factors make swimming one of the best low-impact exercises that can even be practiced when other forms of exercise aren’t possible:

  • It can be practiced safely by seniors.
  • Swimming can be practiced during the pregnancy.
  • It can be practiced as an alternative exercise for injured athletes.
  • It can be practiced by overweight people.

As the water resistance increases with speed, every swimmer can easily dose the intensity at which he wants to work out.

Alternative to Dry-Land Workouts

Swimming is an excellent alternative to dry-land exercise.

For example, it can be practiced in the summer when it is too hot outside to work out.

It can also be a welcome alternative to bored or injured runners.

Losing Weight and Weight Control

There are other health benefits of swimming. As an endurance sport, swimming allows you to lose or control your weight. It burns about three calories per mile per pound of body weight.

To be useful for weight control, you need to swim at least two or three times a week for at least half an hour.

However, make sure you really do swim while being at the pool. Stopping all the time to chat with your swim buddies doesn’t cut it! ;-)

If you are overweight, swimming is a great way to burn calories and lose weight, as you will be able to work out without putting too much stress on your joints.

Relieve Body Pain

Swimming is also an excellent sport that can relieve certain types of aches:

  1. Swimming is often prescribed to patients that experience back problems and pain. Swimming backstroke is an excellent exercise to loosen up and strengthen the back.
  2. Swimming is also an excellent exercise for people that suffer from arthritis because of the support and soft resistance of the water.

Swimming Injuries

The health benefits of swimming are many. As swimming is a low-impact exercise, you would think that there aren’t any downsides to practicing this sport.

This isn’t the case however. Even if swimming is a low-impact exercise, there is a possibility to develop certain swimming injuries, so be aware of them!

Conclusion

We have seen that swimming has a lot of benefits to the body. But it doesn’t stop there! Swimming also has psychological benefits. Check them out!

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Anny Salero Sustiguer

Thursday 21st of February 2013

Swimming really keeps you healthy and in shape.

Jill Giddins

Sunday 23rd of September 2012

Yep I agree , swimming can be addictive - but what a healthy addiction.

Liz Paterra

Friday 17th of August 2012

Swimming also becomes addictive -- good, but a habit that is sorely missed if skipped for a couple of days.